Whether you are buying, selling, investing, or simply enjoying being a homeowner - there's no reason why you wouldn't want your house to be in its best shape..
For buyers (especially first-time home buyers), you may already have a list of the features you want in a home, but it would be great to consider adding the following to your list just to be sure that you can sell your home at a great price in the future. For sellers, knowing what features in your home you can use as leverage for a better price will help you take fair advantage of your most powerful selling points.
1. Huge master suite
The master’s bedroom is the ultimate private space in a home, so if it’s made in tiptop condition, both home buyers and sellers will be at an advantage. If you’re a seller, consider having this room remodeled, but try not to overdo it so that you can still leave space for imagination (what furniture potential buyers can add, how they can decorate it according to their tastes, etc.)
It doesn’t really have to be as huge as an executive hotel suite with a California King bed -- as long as there’s enough space to move around and make the homeowner feel really good about coming home.
2. Beautiful landscape
A home’s “curb appeal” will continue improving a home's value—and, by extension, the overall value of properties in the neighborhood where it is located.
The curb is where the first impression about the home (and even the neighborhood!) is made by potential buyers, so if you’re a home seller, you can improve your curb appeal without spending a ton of cash by simply adding new attractive plants to your landscape, repainting your fence, and cleaning out overgrown bushes. These don’t cost much and it would definitely enhance your home and entice your buyers.
If you’re thinking long term, consider investing on having your yard professionally landscaped with mature shade trees to match. This may take several years and upkeep, but it could be a big selling point. However, a beautiful landscape will require some amount of maintenance, otherwise it's going to end up being an eyesore that may negatively impact the home's value.
For home buyers, a curb that’s in good condition is an indication that the seller takes care of their home. So if you see it in good shape, that’s a good sign.
3. An extra guest bathroom
To a lot of home buyers, bathrooms are a HUGE deal. While two is a suitable number, an extra bathroom can add tons of value to a home and attract more potential buyers.
However, this doesn't mean that home sellers should spend an average of $25,000 just to build a new bathroom before selling. According to the NAR, new bathrooms only return an average of 60 percent of their costs at sale time -- so if you're about to add a bathroom just for the sake of raising the price a few weeks before listing your house for sale, think twice because it may not be worth it.
On the other hand, if you're a buyer, you're in luck if the home you're interested in happens to have an extra bathroom that isn't located inside the house's private rooms. You can use this as an additional selling point once you decide to list your home for sale.
4. A functional porch or patio
A house’s porch or patio adds visual interest to it and is also a spot where family and friends can cook, have meals, and relax. Home sellers can add in a nice table and chair set or a grilling station (or both, if you have the budget) to suggest functionality to buyers.
Buyers, you’re probably going to sell the home too at some point (to relocate, upgrade, or downsize) so take note of this tip for future use!
5. Multi-purpose rooms
Extra rooms which can be turned into a home office, a playroom, a TV room, a guest room, or any kind of room depending on the home owner's preference is sure to add value to a home.
These rooms, which are also called flex rooms or double-duty rooms, are growing popular with today's home buyers. This is because multi-purpose rooms make a house more functional, and is great for people with telecommuting jobs and indoor hobbies. The possibilities a multi-purpose room presents can make a house an instant hit to almost any kind of buyer.
You can use this to your advantage as a seller by clearing out one room in your house and offering suggestions on how a certain buyer can make it their own.
6. Stainless steel appliances
Stainless steel appliances will assuredly be for the long haul, and the best thing is: It never goes out of style! Do take note, however, that some stainless steel appliances may not look good in some areas of the house (it depends on the color of the walls and other appliances), so you may want to limit this to the kitchen.
7. Walk-in closets
Having a spacious closet as one of the features of a home adds to the value of it and enhances every room in the house that has it. The idea of having enough storage will make a positive impact on home buyers.
8. Original wood floors
Engineered wood flooring is replacing carpets now as the new trend. It’s long-wearing, durable, and gives off the illusion of more floor space. Instead of the usual structural plywood, wood floors nowadays are made of a thin veneer of real wood or bamboo. This costs less but has the same look.
9. Efficient technology such as sprinkler systems and green-tech additions
Sprinkler systems, when used properly, help on cutting down waste and minimizing the inconvenience of pulling a hose or sprinkler around the house. Of course everybody wants their yard well-watered to maintain and showcase their lush green lawns, so you can assume that home buyers would add built-in sprinkler systems to boost the value of the house.
10. Well-maintained attic or basement rooms
Make sure that the attic or basement room has a stairway in good condition, interior walls, adequate insulation, as well as windows for air, daylight, and emergency egress. Having these spaces in good condition adds in to the functionality tab of the house because there are a handful of ways it could be of use to a family -- whether it be an extra room, a study, storage space, or laundry space.